What to Look for When Buying a Travel Cot

A travel cot is a handy item to carry if you're a parent who frequently travels with your young child in tow. If you're looking towards investing in one, Buzzle tells you what to look for before making a purchase.
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Things to look for when buying a travel cot
While several factors (including the budget) are to be considered while buying a travel cot, ensure that the one you buy is low on both, weight and bulk.
A travel cot may seem like a fancy-schmancy baby accessory that you're sure is going to spend more time gathering dust in the attic, until you actually begin to travel with your child. Travel cots, these days, are portable, budget-friendly, and of great use, even if you're not too much of a travel buff.

So, without any further delay, get on to knowing what to look for when buying a travel cot.

Be sure if you really need it.
If you're a once-in-a-blue-moon traveler, you obviously have to recant the whole idea of buying a travel cot. For occasional travelers, this product is money going down the drain for sure, as children do outgrow it before you even realize it. Therefore, you need to be completely sure of how useful a travel cot would really prove to be, keeping your travel needs in mind.

How easy is it to use?
A complicated contraption is not something that you need to carry on a trip with your child. A good travel cot should fold and unfold seamlessly, without you having to perform any acrobatics. Always be attentive while you're taking a demo in the store; and if the mechanism seems too complicated for you, just chuck it and try something else.

What about the weight and bulk?
As we all know, every pound of our luggage matters when we're traveling with a child on an airplane. Choosing a light and compact travel cot means that it won't be a burden to carry, and you possibly won't have to pay extra to take it on an airplane.

Wheels or no wheels?
Cots that come in light carry-bags with wheels are extremely easy to take along. Having said that, you need to consider this point in conjunction with the above two.

Does it have to have a bassinet?
Again, not necessarily. A bassinet will help if you have a newborn (under three months), who can also sleep in the cot. If your child is older, it is recommended that you choose a model without a bassinet.

What about maintenance?
Preferably, go for a cot that is made of machine washable fabrics, which will certainly make your life easier.

How should the design be?
If long-term travel is on your mind, you'd rather go in for a cot that doubles up as a playpen. Apply a lot of thought to what exactly you'll be using it for. For instance, a travel cot for a newborn needs to have a comfortable mattress; whereas a playpen would be preferred for children over the age of one. There are certain models which can be used even for five-year-old kids, and are regarded as great value for money.

And don't forget ...
... to keep your child's needs at the forefront. Don't let the budget and appearance cloud your good judgment. Consider your child's weight and height when making a purchase. Also, think of the comfort factor, as your child will be spending considerable amount of time in it. Check the cot's stability thoroughly after installation―it needs to handle your baby's weight and movements effectively.

Finally, a few products to consider:
  • BABYBJÖRN Travel Crib Light 2
  • Mia Moda Playgio Playard
  • Graco Travel Lite™ Crib With Stages
  • phil&teds traveller
  • Bushbaby Nestegg Pop-up Travel Cot
Armed with this info, you're good to go out there and buy a fantastic travel accessory for your baby. All you need to remember is to pick one that's light and comfortable.
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Published: December 31, 2013
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